Top Dog Trails near Orange County, CA

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Where can you find miles of Pacific Ocean beach, year round warm temperatures, and surf shops galore? Yep, in Orange County. This SoCal area is the ultimate destination for beach loving families, die hard surfers, and anybody who loves basking in the sun. You know who else loves this place? Doggos! And the OC loves them. In fact, it’s pretty common to see water bowls in front of many shops. One the best ways to enjoy Orange County with your doggo is by hitting the trails. Your pup gets exercise and gets to see the sights. Here are some the top dog friendly trails near Orange County.

#1 Canyon Acres Trail

This trail may be on the shorter side, but it packs a punch. It’s a little backwards in that you start at a higher elevation and descend to the end of the trail. On the way back, your pup’s legs will definitely get a workout. Located in Laguna Beach’s Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, this trail is pupular with dog walkers, so your pup can meet some new friends! 

#2 Mountains to Sea Trail

When it comes to scenery, this trail seriously delivers. Starting from the crashing waves at Newport Beach, it heads 22 miles northeast until it arrives at the serene landscape of the Weir Canyon Nature Preserve. Your pup pawbably won’t want to trek the entire distance, so decide which section works best for them. Bring plenty of water so your doggo stays well hydrated, and always have clean up bags on hand. 

#3 Quail Hill Loop Trail

Leash up your pup and make your way over to this Irvine trail. Located inside the Irvine Open Space Preserve, it is the only trail in the park that allows four legged hikers. Stroll around the two mile loop and watch your pup’s sniffer get to work. They’ll love taking in all the new smells. Shade and benches can be found on the trail, but be sure to bring your own water. 

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#4 Bonaire/Edinger Trail

If your pooch needs a walk, but you’re short on time, this Huntington Beach trail is a furrific option. It clocks in at just under a mile and runs along an ocean channel. It’s a paved walkway, so your pup won’t necessarily feel like they’re out in the woods, but the salty breeze from the ocean and the local birds will light up their senses. Be sure to watch for cyclists. 

#5 Brightwater Trail

This Huntington Beach trail winds along the perimeter of the Bolsa Chica Conservatory. Even though the trail runs pretty close to the adjacent neighborhood, your pup will still get a taste of the wetlands. As you follow the dirt path, expect to see wildflowers, little critters, and of course plenty of birds. It’s about six miles round trip, so don’t forget to bring enough water. 

#6 East Coyote Hills Trail

Is your pupster in the mood for a leisurely stroll? Then pop over to this Fullerton trail for an afternoon walk. As they trot along, your canine buddy can take in the lovely trees, wildflowers, and birds. After about a mile and a half, you’ll have the option to turn around or continue your walk on the more challenging Panoramic Trail. Either way, Fido will have a blast!

#7 Santiago Creek Bike Trail

After lying around the house all day, your pupster will definitely be in the mood for a walk. Clip on their leash and head over to this Orange suburban trail. It’s paved and is always hopping with cyclists, joggers, and of course, other dog walkers! The trail follows Santiago Creek for just under eight miles, but you don’t have to go the entire distance. Your pup will let you know when it’s time to head home. 

#8 Santa Ana River Trail

This trail stretches a whopping 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean all the way to San Bernardino. Chances are you and your pup won’t travel the entire trail. So it’s a good thing there are several access points and parking lots along the way. With a trail this long, expect a puptastic variety of scenery ranging from urban parkland to willow forests. Sounds pawsome!